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Helsingin Energia May Replace 40% of Coal With Biomass at Plants

Helsingin Energia, Finland’s third-biggest coal user, may replace as much as 40 percent of its coal with wood pellets at two plants in the next eight years to limit carbon emissions and boost renewable energy output.

Helsingin Energia, the country’s biggest municipal utility, strives to find an “optimal fuel mix” for replacing 5 to 10 percent of coal use by co-firing 100,000 metric tons of wood pellets annually starting 2014, and possibly 40 percent by 2020, after tests which are taking place through April, it said today in an e-mailed statement.

At stake is the fuel mix at two of the company’s main facilities, the 226-megawatt Hanasaari and 160-megawatt Salmisaari cogeneration plants in Helsinki, as the city owner strives to cut emissions by replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources at the utility which supplies power to 400,000 households.

The front-year Nordic power contract tends to track the short-run marginal cost for coal plants, Timo Karttinen, Fortum Oyj executive vice president, said yesterday at a conference in in Stockholm, broadcast on the website of Finland’s biggest utility.

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